ERGO app makes it possible unlock a phone with your ear

by: Andrew GrushJanuary 23, 2014


When it comes to keeping your phone safe from prying eyes or would-be thieves, using a lock screen is a must-have security practice. There are plenty of different kinds of unlocking methods to choose from including pins, patterns, face unlock and a traditional password. We are also starting to see a few newer alternative methods like fingerprint scanners and eventually even iris scanning technology.

Adding one more to the list, the ERGO app brings us the ability to unlock your phone using your ear. Yes, you read that correctly.

The new ‘patent pending’ biometric authentication application scans your ear upon initial set-up and creates a profile for it that is then stored on your handset. When you lift your phone to your ear, it verifies everything and then let’s you in. Certainly a unique way to log-on, at least if it works as intended.

While the app has a few positive reviews, at least one Reddit user notes that after setting up the app they couldn’t get it to work, though they were able to still use their PIN to get in. It’s possible that the user simply misconfigured something during the initial setup, but it is important to keep in mind that results seem to vary with ERGO.

ERGO is available directly from Google Play, for a price of $3.99. What do you think of the idea of unlocking your handset with your ear? Intrigued, or do you feel it’s nothing more than a gimmick and not a solid security practice?

  • AfrodanJ

    Possibly the dumbest idea, ever?

  • ehEye

    couple of thoughts; [i do not own, nor have i tried the Ergo app]

    my main problem with ‘security’ is that usually it only keeps “honest” people out, frequently the actual “owner”.
    Criminals will always find a way around almost everything if the target is worth the trouble, while most users are insufficiently tech savvy to solve a malfunction/snag; its more trouble than benefit, and even if it works perfectly, how much of your ‘life’ do you wish to spend locking and unlocking ‘anything’, usually for no benefit?

    secondly, i am bald, but have extremely active hair growth in my ears requiring frequent trimming, not to mention that whenever i make a call on my smartPhone, i need to clean the screen after of sweat and or skin oils; will this app still work at any earHair length?

  • Jayfeather787

    4 bucks? No thanks, I will stick with my password.

  • madmills92

    Who wants to lift their phone to their ears everytime they want to perform evenyhe simplest of tasks, imagine in a busy subway for example, seems a seriously impractical idea , maybe it’s a step towards fingerprint scanning using just the glass screen though

  • If it could’ve answered the phone by raising it to the ear, that would be something. but just unlocking the device ? Not interesting.

  • tomparker

    The app doesn’t work well and its not pratical to raise your phone to your ear everytime you want to unlock the phone. Not to mention it may take longer than 15 minutes to set this up and because of this, you get screwed out of your refund.